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Clean air for everyone

DENR leads inauguration of "Adopt an Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station" program at CBSUA, Pili, Camarines Sur

Oftentimes, people disregard things that are provided at no cost - such as the air that we breathe.

Yet this priceless mixture of invisible gases, like nitrogen and oxygen, are lifelines that sustain the very core of why we are still in this world--- breathing and alive.

For this very reason, the government has directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to ensure that natural resources are conserved, and the watershed areas, water sources, and all the domains that surround the earth, including the air that we breathe, are regulated, well-managed and developed.

Inauguration Ceremony for the Adopt an Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) Program

Inauguration || Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) President Albert Naperi and DENR Regional Office Bicol Regional Director Engr. Maria Socorro A. Abu, Ph.D., lead the Inauguration Ceremony for the Adopt an Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) Program on March 30, 2023 at CBSUA, San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur (Photo credit: DENR )

To ensure that these mandates are accomplished, DENR has adopted key strategies and programs that are responsive to these needs. One of those is the establishment of an Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station program to keep a close watch on the air quality level in various parts of the country.

A few weeks back, DENR Regional Office Bicol Regional Director Engr. Maria Socorro A. Abu, Ph.D., led the inauguration ceremony for the “Adopt an Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station” program at the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), in Pili, Camarines Sur, adding the campus as one of the locations of another Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS).  

The CAAQMS is composed of Met One Model N-BAM-1020 PM-Coarse System that simultaneously provides continuous and real-time Particulate Matter10 and Particulate Matter2.5 concentration measurements. These parameters are directly monitored at the DENR Central Office in Manila.

“This is pursuant to Republic Act 8749, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999,” to monitor the air quality in the country and expand the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network. This project is two years in the making, and this is the realization of what we have planned purposely for the benefit of the Bicol region. Kaya maraming maraming salamat po, Dr. Alberto N. Naperi,” Engr. Abu stated.

RA 8749, as defined in the DENR’s site is a comprehensive air quality management policy and program which aims to achieve and maintain healthy air for all Filipinos.

The DENR Regional Head said that CBSUA passed the criteria for where an AQMS should be located.

CBSUA President Albert Naperi extends his gratirude to DENR for choosing CBSUA as the newest site for AQMS || Photo credit: DENR ROV

“CBSUA is a strategic place. It is beside the road where most buses ply their routes daily. So AQMS will give data and this captured data will be analyzed. The results will serve as a basis for what we should do next. As per the words of our DENR Secretary, we should have science-based data, so ito na yon.

The inauguration of the AQMS at the CBSUA owned-lot in Pili, Camarines Sur held March 30, was witnessed by no less than CBSUA President, Dr. Alberto N. Naperi.

According to CBSUA President Albert Naperi, the school is extremely grateful for being selected by DENR as one of the locations for the AQMS.

Engr. Abu expressed his gratitude to the industry partners, comprised of private firms that share DENR's objective in setting up an air monitoring station that conducts systematic reviews and regular inspections of the essential air quality parameters.

The following industry partners contributed by donating and providing financial assistance for the establishment and operation of the said station: Aboitiz Power Renewables, Inc. (APRI), Albay Agro-Industrial Development Corporation (ALINDECO), East Pacific Star Bottlers Phils, Inc., Energy Development Corporation (EDC), Filminera Resources Corporation (FRC), Peter Paul Philippine Corporation, and Philippine Geothermal Production Company, Inc. (PGPCI).

DENR Partners and stakeholders (PIA 5/Camarines Sur)

AQMS in various parts of the Bicol Region

Eight (8) fixed ambient AQMS are already in place since December 31, 2022, in various areas in Bicol:  DOST-PAGASA Compound, Brgy. Cruzada, Legazpi City; Sorsogon City Hall Compound, Diversion Road, Sorsogon City; San Nicolas, Iriga City; Elevated Plaza, Daet, Camarines Norte; Masbate City, Terminal Road, Masbate City; Tabaco City Central Terminal, Zone 7, Brgy. Pawa, Tabaco City; Ligao City Pavillion, Brgy. Santa Cruz, Ligao City and one in Catanduanes State University Compound, Virac, Catanduanes. 

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) located at CBSUA nearby lot, San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur (PIA5/Camarines Sur)

DENR also placed fixed AQM stations at various operational sanitary landfill (SLF) in several SLFs in the region; Legazpi, Sorsogon, Iriga, Tabaco, Masbate City, Aroroy in Masbate, Naga City and Daraga, Albay.  

There is also one manual station, the Mayon Monitoring Station, located at the EMB V Compound, Rawis in Legazpi City.

In a press statement, DENR said that aside from the recently inaugurated CAAQMS in Pili, Camarines Sur, there are already two existing CAAQMS in the region. One is located at PENRO Compound, Panganiban Drive, Naga City, which measures PM10, and the other at EMB V Compound, Regional Center Site, Rawis Legazpi City, and can measure PM10/2.5, Carbon Monoxide and other gases.

Naperi said that the AQMS will also enhance the student’s understanding of the importance of air monitoring.

“Itong pagkakalagay nitong air quality monitoring station [dito sa CBSUA], mao-open siguro ang minds ng mga studyante natin dahil we have BS Environmental Science in air quality management, so we are open for that ma’am and we are open for partnership for the benefit of students. We will be spreading the adoption of the air quality monitoring program after this activity,” Naperi added.

These new Continuous AQMSs started their operations on March 1, this year as part of the Adopt an Air Quality Monitoring Program of DENR.

“The establishment and operation of the said additional CAAQMS would further enhance the capability of the bureau to monitor the ambient air quality in the region. This would not be possible without support from the partner industries and the academic sector. The DENR-EMB V and its partners are committed to promoting and ensuring clean and healthy air for the region,” Engr. Abu stated.

Indeed, everyone needs clean air to maintain good health and well-being.  Clean air is essential for our respiratory and cardiovascular health, brain function, environmental protection, and good quality of life.  (PIA 5/Camarines Sur)

About the Author

Ana-liza Macatangay

Regional Editor

Region 5

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